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‘Best value Lafite on the market’ released at 31% discount

Following a temporary lull for yesterday’s bank holiday in France, the release of the 2023 en primeurs resumed at pace today, with Château Lafite Rothschild seeing a 31.7% reduction on last year’s release, Duhart-Milon and “one of the best Carruades de Lafite’s also hitting the market. 

This morning saw the release of wines from Domaines Baron de Rothschild. Headlining it was Lafite Rothschild 2023 – a wine that has been was very well received by the critics, with Jane Anson giving it a score of 98-100. This was released at €396 per bottle ex-négociant – a substantial a 31.7% decrease on the 2022 release of €580. It is being offered to the international trade for £4,920 per case of 12 – again, a considerable jump from the £7,150 a case of last year’s release. This makes it one of the best value Lafite’s on the market according to Liv-ex.

db‘s Bordeaux correspondent Colin Hay praised it as “soft, elegant, relaxed and plush, with a very soft-focused but dense and compact spherical core – a black hole of black fruit”, awarding it  96-98 points, while Jane Anson called it “gorgeous”, noting that it showcased “the essence of Lafite more squarely” despite not being as concentrated as the 2022 vintage.

Lafite’s second wine, Carruades de Lafite 2023 was also released this morning, with a 19.4% reduction on last year’s price, to €145 per bottle ex-négociant. It also scored highly with critics, with Neal Martin calling it “one of the best [Carruades de Lafite] he has tasted”, while db‘s Bordeaux correspondent Colin Hay noted that it was”clean, lean and fresh on the finale…  nicely focussed and well-sustained”, awarding it 92-94 points.

Liv-ex noted that the 2023 offered “good value for those who can secure an allocation”, noting that the release price matched that of 2019, which has since increased in value by 20.3%.

It was followed by Château L’Évangile 2023 from Pomerol, which enjoyed another big reduction –  30.6% down from the 2022’s opening price – coming out at €150 per bottle ex-négociant. Described by James Suckling as “classy and focused, providing elegance with strength”, it saw scores of 96-97 from Suckling, 96 from Jane Anson and 93-95 points from William Kelley. db’s Colin Hay called it “plush and sleek, with great mid-palate density. Very refined. Not boisterous”, noting that there was “more of a link to Lafite than ever before”.  There are however a number of back vintages available for less than today’s release – six on the last ten vintages – notably the 2020 and 2019, according to Liv-ex.

Meanwhile Château Duhart-Milon 2023, from Pauillac, has been released at €55 per bottle ex-négociant, down 8% on the 2022 opening price, and is being offered by the international trade for £684 for a case of 12 – a slightly higher reduction of 9.5% on last year’s £756.

See here for Colin Hay’s full tasting notes and his appellation-by-appellation guide to Margaux and Pauillac.

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